Monday, February 25, 2013

Ice Boulders

While walking the south shore of Lake Michigan, she discovered a beach full of ice boulders.

Not big enough to climb, though.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

If You Can't Walk On Land..

You might as well "Walk on Water" as this fellow does after he was paralyzed in a skiing accident

Walk on Water from NRS Films on Vimeo.

"When a skiing accident left Greg Mallory paralyzed from the waist down, he turned to kayaking to help him escape his wheelchair. Now he’s an accomplished Class V whitewater paddler who finds strength, challenge and meaning on the river. This is his story."

Saturday, February 23, 2013

"Ah the purity of Nature!"

Making a paradise out of a wilderness in Paraguay, sometimes the purity of nature is troublesome:

"It was very hot and we wanted to bathe in the water. But we could not because piranhas would come. It’s a big problem! Also there are problems with ants. One National Messiah became very sick from an ant bite. It’s a dangerous place. There are all these problems, but Father just says, ‘Ah, the purity of nature!’”

Quite an article about making another in a long line of utopias in the Pantanal region of Paraguay.

A video I found about this region.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

19 Pitch 13c/d In Mexico

Story here about a new 19 pitch sport route in El Potrero Chico done by Alex Honnold.

He must not have been frightened off by the travelers' advisory issued by the U.S. Consulate for that area of Mexico. Including the recently 14 people murdered in Potrero.

If You Like Black Hills Climbing

There is a new guidebook out of the Needles that covers areas not listed in any recent guides. Areas like The Elkhorns, The Big Gash, and Raspberry Rocks. And a newer area called Breezy Point. As well as the more popular areas such as the South Seas and Chopping Block. And, for those of us who get lost trying to find routes out there, it has GPS coordinates of the areas.

(VE does stock it.)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Climbing El Cap At 13

Last October, 13-year-old Ella Kirkpatrick climbed El Cap with her dad (and a full crew from the BBC.)

A trip report from her dad is here. Her biggest fear was using the poop bag which she conquered on the third day on the wall.

(A photo of her from the ElCap Report website.)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Smileys On Mt Waddington

30+ hours of climbing on with loose rocks, constant rockfall on one of the harder routes in British Columbia.

More of their story here.

Mt Waddington - Presented by Rab from Mark Smiley on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

How Long Will The Indoor Climbing Craze Last?

According to this article in Outside Magazine "..gym climbing has a very strong growth rate. Something like 1,000 people a day are starting to sport climb, according to our research.”

And outdoor climbing is not growing. (I see this all the time - everyone loves the environment but fewer people use the outdoors.) 

So is this just another fad, a balloon set to burst in a couple of years when people find that sticking to climbing is really hard? And getting fit for climbing does not necessarily make you fit for other activities? 

My hunch is, it will burst sooner rather than later because when I read: 

"Just how imminent the explosion is may not matter, as long as marketers can sell the sport to open-minded yuppies. Which is already happening. Mountain Hardwear has a new lifestyle-oriented climbing line coming this spring..."

When "lifestyle-oriented climbing clothing" is bought by the masses, the climbers will be less interested in being associated with it. 

But, there are some new gyms mentioned in this article that look great. Like this one. And one in California co-owned by Chris Sharma. 

A Few Reasons Not To Climb Big Walls

A trip report about a recent multi-day climb on El Cap shows a few reasons most people don't want to do this. Reasons such as: carrying heavy loads of gear down from the top.

And hauling lots of gear up the wall.

And hanging from tiny pieces of pro.

But look at the views.

Fun With Abandoned Buildings

Skiing in an abandoned building in Whittier, AK.

5FLOORSOFFURY from Doom/Love on Vimeo.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Living Bridges

Contrasting photos of workers on a bridge near Hoover Dam with photos of living bridges in India made out of tree roots.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Smarter Smart Car

Is this a smarter Smart Car or a dumb idea? It's funny to watch and frightening to think about driving. More details here.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Climbing With Polar Bears

This guy didn't actually get to climb with polar bears, but he was scared away from climbing because of the bears. He tried to borrow a rifle to protect himself, but to no avail. Quite a story of an eight year quest to climb in a remote area of the world. Besides the bears, it involves ice breakers, sailboats, sailboards, protected bird species, and dangerous rockfall.

Hiking The PCT

This couple spent 5 months hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada. They photographed each campsite and put those photos into this 2 minute video. Their blog is here with lots of info about the gear they used.

Winter Urban Fun

Looks like you can enjoy snow in the city.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Climbing "Frozen Clouds"

Climbing the "frozen clouds" of ˙Helmcken Falls in B.C. You need to be good at pull ups on an ice axe to do this route.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Living Simply

A story of a Russian family living simply in the wilderness for 40 years without any contact with the outside world. They didn't willingly choose their wilderness life; they fled there to escape persecution.

Their diet was organic:

"A couple of kettles served them well for many years, but when rust finally overcame them, the only replacements they could fashion came from birch bark. Since these could not be placed in a fire, it became far harder to cook. By the time the Lykovs were discovered, their staple diet was potato patties mixed with ground rye and hemp seeds" 

And they got plenty of outdoor exercise:

"Lacking guns and even bows, they could hunt only by digging traps or pursuing prey across the mountains until the animals collapsed from exhaustion. Dmitry built up astonishing endurance, and could hunt barefoot in winter, sometimes returning to the hut after several days, having slept in the open in 40 degrees of frost, a young elk across his shoulders."

And they were able to live close to nature:

"Wild animals destroyed their crop of carrots, and Agafia recalled the late 1950s as 'the hungry years.' 'We ate the rowanberry leaf' she said,
roots, grass, mushrooms, potato tops, and bark, We were hungry all the time. Every year we held a council to decide whether to eat everything up or leave some for seed.
Famine was an ever-present danger in these circumstances, and in 1961 it snowed in June. The hard frost killed everything growing in their garden, and by spring the family had been reduced to eating shoes and bark. Akulina chose to see her children fed, and that year she died of starvation. The rest of the family were saved by what they regarded as a miracle: a single grain of rye sprouted in their pea patch. The Lykovs put up a fence around the shoot and guarded it zealously night and day to keep off mice and squirrels."
They didn't waste any time watching TV, because they got to use their time productively hand crafting clothes: 
"They fashioned birch-bark galoshes in place of shoes. Clothes were patched and repatched until they fell apart, then replaced with hemp cloth grown from seed."